2017 Volkswagen Touareg Adventure Review

2017 Volkswagen Touareg Road Test, Review

A face-lift in 2015 gave the Volkswagen Touareg a much-needed refresh, and from the outside it was a success.

The corporate face was glued on to a body 1st released in 2010. In automotive terms, 7 years is the front steps of an old folk’s home.

Touareg Adventure is a special edition.

It adds perceived value to a middle of the range model as this generation winds down in preparation to the release of the next-gen Touareg next year.

Does it work? Yes, visually the Volkswagen Touareg looks the business. The body has never lost is sexy brutal appeal.

It shares a platform with Audi’s posh Q7, and the allegedly go-quick Cayenne. No matter how much I squint, the Porker (Porsche) looks wrong.

You’ll see design cues nicked from both Audi and Porsche. Roof, windows and doors all look familiar.

The head and tail lights look very smart with their LED and Bi-Xenon upgrades. 19” wheels look great and give the exterior a touch of class.

Important to many younger buyers, there is no CarPlay/Android Auto or digital radio.

The infotainment system is the older generation Volkswagen unit and feels clunky and slow, so tech-savvy buyers won’t be impressed.

You are still able to connect via a special cable adapter, but there is no USB connection as such. I can’t remember the last time I was in a car that didn’t have proper USB ports, even if just for charging.

“Hey Siri” can be used, which adds at least some modern functionality to the infotainment system, and sat-nav is standard.

The Adventure gets Vienna leather.

The disclaimer says that not all of the leather used is from a cow. If leather does not come from a cow, it is not leather. Artificial leather is called plastic, right? I hasten to add that most car makers do this.

The chunky dash looks handsome in a utilitarian German kind of way. It is neat and tidy, and has a feeling of solid quality.

I like the ease of which controls fall to hand. It is a beautifully designed ergonomic dash that has aged well. In fact, had the audio unit been the latest model, and blind spot and lane watch been included, I’d have been happier.

At least there is adaptive cruise control which is excellent at keeping speed up or downhill. It also has a queue-assist function in heavy traffic.

Volkswagen highlights the word “luxury” in the literature and on the website.

The cabin certainly has a premium ambience. It’s spacious, with a high seating position. Even a taller driver will have to climb into the driver’s seat.

There are 3 memories for the power adjustment.

The 580L rear cargo hold extends to a very flat 1642L in a few easy moves. Much of the space is useable with intrusions into the space by poorly designed body parts kept to a minimum.

On the road, the 3.0 litre V6 feels a little less gutsy than I remember it.

None the less, the 180kW/550Nm turbo-diesel does a 7.6 0-100kph, which is decent considering the Volkswagen has a tare weight of 2159kg.

In many ways, the Touareg is a GT. By that I mean it would lazily cross continents quickly and comfortably.

There is a ton of room for you, some mates, and all your gear.

All of those on board would be comfortable. There are plenty of cup and bottle holders, and extra power outlets for charging your stuff. Don’t forget your USB adapter as mentioned above.

Premium it may be, luxurious it is not.

Possibly because of my unrealistically high expectations, I felt a little let down by the Touareg. Although the ride was exceptionally smooth, and the eight-speed auto was deliciously silky, it lags behind its competitors.

The braked towing capacity is 3500kg, but it doesn’t feel as if the V6 would cope.

It is unfair to say so definitively without testing the theory, but the V8 diesel feels better suited to tough work, and for that you’ll need many more shekels.

The top of the range Touareg is just a shade over $116,000. At that price point, there are many more options.

Adjustable air suspension, and a 100L fuel tank, make the Touareg Adventure better value than it otherwise would have been.

In a segment that is ever expanding, the SUV market over $70,000 has been contracting.

Summing it up; the 2017 Volkswagen Touareg Adventure’s handsome exterior is let down slightly by cabin tech that feels slightly behind the crowd.

Although the Adventure sits nicely on the road, looks great, and feels comfortable, compared to the opposition, this particular Volkswagen is at the back of the pack.

The new model is due next year and will bristle with the best German know-how. If you want a Touareg, the next generation is the go.

NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Volkswagen Touareg Adventure

  • Engine: 3.0 litre V6 turbo-diesel producing 180kW/550Nm
  • Transmission: Eight-speed auto
  • Safety: Not tested
  • Warranty: Three-years
  • Origin: Slovakia
  • Price: from $79,990

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